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Our Enemy: The Japanese

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Our Enemy: The Japanese


Published 1943


Stridently anti-Japanese film that attempts to convey an understanding of Japanese life and philosophy so that the U.S. may more readily defeat its enemy. Depicts the Japanese as "primitive, murderous and fanatical." With many images of 1930s and 1940s Japan, and a portentious and highly negative narration by Joseph C. Grew, former U.S. ambassador to Japan.


Run time 19:51
Producer U.S. Office of War Information, Bureau of Motion Pictures
Sponsor U.S. Navy
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

Film which attempts to convey an understanding of Japanese life and philosophy; it does this in an way which is overly generalizing and racist.

military; subway; many shots of Emperor Hirohito on horseback; upper echelon soldiers; troops marching; streets of the city of Tokyo; banking; stock brokerage house; Tokyo stock exchange trading floor; Japanese industry; newsroom of major newspaper; printing plants; banker using an abacus; shots of industry;

propaganda theater with umbrellas with national symbols of Japan, Nazi Germany and [I imagine] Italy;
describes censorship at newspapers; radio announcer [station JOAK]; typesetting;

rural population: pumping water, cooking; washing vegetables in a creek; mud and wood huts with straw roofs; harvesting; working in fields; sharpening knives; home industry; factories; truck assembly; farm families; making handicrafts;

many people banging a giant gong; Shinto worship; music; children being lead in group exercise; school children learning to write; children being shown models of Japanese warship and planes; soldiers drilling; soldiers training; inspection of troops; bayonet training; teenagers drilling;

1923 Japanese earthquake scenes of destruction;
women's contribution to the war effort in factories; women in kimonos; children bowing; small children doing calisthenics
Very grisly war footage: Japanese zero plane; artillery; refugees; many charred dead bodies; body being carried on a pole

Voiceover:

"You are about to see the second of three films which have been made to help us size up our enemy, Japan. To defeat the Japanese and to do the job thoroughly, we have got to understand them thoroughly. The Japanese aren't easy to know. . . . I can testify that they are as different from ourselves as any people on this planet. The real difference is in their minds. You cannot measure Japanese sense of logic by any Western yardstick. Their weapons are modern; their thinking 2000 years out of date. "

"They believe it is the right and destiny of Japan's emperors to rule the whole world, to bring about the fulfillment of this destiny and to destroy all nation and peoples which stand in the way of its fulfillment is the sacred duty of Japan's army and navy. The army of Japan is a well-trained, sternly disciplined force of fanatics . . . to reckless courage by a primitive moral code which assures to every man who dies in battle an immortal life among the Shinto gods."

"Never an inventive or creative people, Japanese have always depended on the scientific and industrial knowledge of the Western world. And now that they are at war with Britain and the United States, they find their chief source from which to borrow fast-changing production techniques in Nazi Germany. "

"Playing their closely supervised part in total war, are Japan's major metropolitan newspapers which ape the great American dailies. "

"Every channel of public information is being used to impress upon Japan's people that the war is proceeding according to a divinely-guided plan. "

"When in 1923, Japan was wracked and broken by an earthquake, it was the United States which was first and most generous in giving aid. "

"From infancy, Japanese children find their days strictly scheduled, filled with discipline of total war. Physical culture groups, they harden the bodies, learn the obedience to orders which will make them good warriors in later life."

"Wreaking pitiless destruction on unarmed cities and their helpless people by slaughtering all those who stand in Japan's way, the young Japanese will win honor and grace in the sight of his god's. For they have decreed that it is Japan's destiny to achieve mastery over the whole world. To bring to all people the blessings of the samurai code."

"Anticipating worldwide expansion, Japan has for years maintained a school of military government and colonial administration where picked young Japanese learn the approved attitude and method of ruling conquered people in a conquered territory. The emperors future "gauleiters" lead a spartan existence to become used to the simple rations that will be their lot until the day of final victory. "

"Averaging only five foot three in height and 117 pounds in weight the Japanese soldier is expected to compensate for his small size by his fanaticism in battle. "

"This then is the enemy, primitive, murderous and fanatical. . . . Against the madness of Japan nothing less than all our efforts will suffice."



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Reviews

Reviewer: JayKay49 - - February 23, 2015
Subject: TO: Pablo Altes
Just to update: Beware that you may be a MEDIEVAL STONE AGE ALLAH-WORSHIPPING BLOOD THIRSTY THIRD WORLD HUT-DWELLING people's, "alien" aka "infidel." Just thought I'd clarify that - ya know, for 21st century purposes, and, let's say, real world, "off campus" stuff.

If it escapes you, just ask an 8 yr old vulva in Nigeria of late, what it's all about. Remember slaves being sold, traded?

Meanwhile, prez's pleasure trip itinerary is simply out of this world.
Reviewer: Milcron - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 27, 2011
Subject: Propaganda can be true.
This film showed a homogeneous, dedicated, hard-working goal-oriented people. The government was Imperialistic, its methods towards non-Japanese, savage and had enslaved a good portion of Asia. They needed to be stopped.
Reviewer: Gomezy3k - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 16, 2005
Subject: Excellant Period Piece
I think this is a very good documentary. It shows the mindset of the times. We, today cannot judge them by our standards and Political Correctness of today. It was the job of the Military War Movies to villify the "enemy". They, the Japanese no doubt did the same thing about us. Those who think this documentary is terrible because of the message should realize, if you were living at the time it came out, you would be right there agreeing with it. It was what people thought back then.
Reviewer: Historian's for the Truth - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 6, 2004
Subject: Lib America haters having a field day reviewing these films...
But then again, their relatives didn't have their livers eaten at Fukuoka University after have a vivesection perfomed while still alive....

"Hey the Japanese were great! Just misunderstood by racist White Americans..."

What a joke....
Reviewer: iljc116 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 9, 2004
Subject: wah wah wah
I'm sorry, I thought that these boards were for reviewing films, not for people that think they know everything to complain about off-topic things!
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2003
Subject: Japan is Bad
Interesting film which is narrated by a curious individual with too furry eyebrows telling of how he spent 5 years in Japan and how he confesses that their thinking is '2000 years behind'. We see shot after shot of Japanese life, all of which it seems, is their preparation of war. And to top it all off, they're using western technology and customs, and look how they stabbed us in the back!? Kind of interesting to see what kind of 'evil empire' the narrator blames Japan to be, when the exact same thing is happening in the US right now. Oops, did I just say that?
Reviewer: pablo_altes - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 18, 2003
Subject: Very funny...
Just for a moment, let's change a few words in the following sentence:

"They believe it is the right and destiny of the president of the USA to rule the whole world, to bring about the fulfillment of this destiny and to destroy all nation and peoples which stand in the way of its fulfillment is the sacred duty of the US army and navy. The army of the USA is a well-trained, sternly disciplined force of fanatics . . . to reckless courage by a primitive moral code which assures to every man who dies in battle an immortal life among the heroes of the Nation."

Beware that you are always someone else's alien
Reviewer: Pedro Lobito - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 2, 2003
Subject: Brain Washed
There will be always an enemy for USA, first the Indians...then Communist now Arabs...they will nevers top...why ?? because those jews in california and texas think they r the ONES choosen to rule the world..the Roman Empire was big and collapsed, so do u...its just a question os time.
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